1 Peter 1:13

When I was growing up one of the things I never wanted to be was a coal miner. At the time Cape Breton had a lot of coal mines. The nearest one was maybe 3 miles from my house in a town called Sydney Mines. One of the things that I was told was that some of the mines in Cape Breton went out under the ocean. I never thought that was a good idea. All I could imagine about that was that one day one of the mines might spring a leak and the full weight of the water above it would come crashing in flooding the mine in an instant. But the real reason I didn't want to be a miner was because of the Springhill mine disaster. Now if you were familiar with Springhill at all, you'd ask me,

"Which one? Which Springhill mine disaster?"

That's because there were more than one. The first Springhill mine disaster took place in 1891. There was an explosion that killed 125 miners and injured scores of others. Some of the victims were boys 10 to 13 years old.

The second Springhill mine disaster took place in 1956. A mine train was being hauled to the surface when several cars broke loose and raced back down the tracks. They eventually derailed and hit a power line, causing sparks which ignited coal dust. There was a huge explosion which killed 39 miners. 88 miners were rescued.

But it wasn't either of those two disasters that turned me against coal mining. It was the third one, that occurred in 1958. At that time Springhill had some of the deepest mines in the world with some of them being almost 3 miles deep. On October 23 of that year there was a series of bumps, like little earthquakes stuck the area. On the surface there was little damage but below the surface there were cave-ins all over the place. After things cleared it was found that there were 174 miners missing. Rescuers started digging. By the next day they had found 75 miners alive. Five and a half days later rescuers made contact with a group of 12 miners who were trapped on the other side of a 160 foot rockfall. By the next day they had dug a rescue tunnel and rescued them. Two days later they found another small group of survivors who they rescued. But after that they just found bodies. Of the 174 miners in No. 2 colliery at the time of the bump, 75 were killed. 99 were rescued.

I was just a young boy at the time but I still remember hearing all about it. The thought of those miners being trapped underground was why I never wanted to be a miner. But those guys were trapped for only a few days. Four and a half years ago some miners in Chile were trapped for 69 days before they were rescued.

What's interesting about miners being trapped like that is that some in a group will survive while others will not. We might think that all would be saved or all would die but in fact although the men were all in the same condition—some died while others survived. What accounted for that fact that some lived and some died? Some of the survivors have pointed to hope. People that survived said
, "I never gave up hope." Often the common thread in the stories of the survivors was that they never gave up hope. And the ones that died, they were the ones that lost hope.

In a situation like that whether you have hope or not can have a great impact on whether you live or die.

And what we should see about our text is
that whether you have our hope set on the proper thing or not can greatly impact how you live as a Christian. Hope is a mysterious and strange thing. It is something that can greatly affect us.

Near the beginning of the chapter Peter had told the Christians that they were suffering grief in all kinds of trials. One of the ways to respond is to use the advice that the Holy Spirit gives us in verse 13.

"Therefore, prepare your minds
for action; be self-controlled;
set your hope fully on the grace
to be given you
when Jesus Christ is revealed."

So what I want to do this morning is to look explain a bit of what our text means and how we should apply it to our lives.

First of all, it says that our hope is to be

on 'the grace' that will be brought to us when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Your hope is to be on 'the grace' of Jesus Christ. Grace is unmerited favor. It's not something that you can earn or be worthy of. Wayne Grudem defines grace this way,

"God's grace means God's goodness toward those who deserve only punishment."

Now it's important that we grasp this. For example, when you're facing death—one of the greatest trials that may come your way—how are you going to face it?

Many people have thoughts like,

"I hope I'm good enough. I hope I've done enough good things."

That's ridiculous. We're sinners. We can't be good enough. We can't do enough good things. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) The only person who could receive comfort from a statement like, "I hope I'm good enough," would be a delusional person who had no idea of the depth of their sin and what it means about their standing before God. Our very best works are tainted by sin. As Isaiah 64:6

"all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;"

As such our works can never set us in good standing before God. The Bible tell us that by the deeds of the law, no one will be able to stand before God and be accepted. Galatians 2:15–16 says,

"We who are Jews by birth
and not 'Gentile sinners'
know that a man is not justified
by observing the law,
but by faith in Jesus Christ.
So we, too, have put our faith
in Christ Jesus that we may be justified
by faith in Christ
and not by observing the law,
because by observing the law
no one will be justified."

Our salvation is all about grace and we need to be clear on that. Jesus did everything for us. We are saved because of His work—His life, death and resurrection.

Not long ago someone told me a password they used and it was something like,


That may be a silly password but it's incredibly profound. It shows that our salvation is by grace.

A couple of months ago we looked at 2 Timothy 1:9 and saw that we were given grace to us before the beginning of time. We were also were given grace when we believed in Jesus. Ephesians 2:8–10 makes this clear.

"For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—
and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God—
not by works,
so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do."

We are continually given grace in our Christian life. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 the apostle Paul

"But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me was not without effect.
No, I worked harder than all of them—
yet not I,
but the grace of God that was with me."

And in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 God said to Paul in relation to his thorn in the flesh. He said,

"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
Therefore I will boast
all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake,
I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships,
in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak,
then I am strong."

We will be given grace when we die. Psalm 116:15 says,

"Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints."

In Philippians 1:22–23 Paul said,

"If I am to go on living in the body,
this will mean fruitful labor for me.
Yet what shall I choose?
I do not know!
I am torn between the two:
I desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is better by far;"

And in 2 Corinthians 5:4–8 Paul wrote.

"For while we are in this tent,
we groan and are burdened,
because we do not wish
to be unclothed but to be clothed
with our heavenly dwelling,
so that what is mortal
may be swallowed up by life.
Now it is God who has made us
for this very purpose
and has given us the Spirit as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident
and know that as long as we are
at home in the body
we are away from the Lord.
We live by faith,
not by sight.
We are confident, I say,
and would prefer to be away
rom the body and at home with the Lord."

From before the beginning of time right up to your death and your soul being taken up to heaven—it's all because of grace.

But there's even more. Paul goes right up to the Day of Jesus Christ, the day that He comes again. And what he tells us is that there is going to be so much grace there for us that it should be the basis of our hope.

It's similar to what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6.

"being confident of this,
that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus."

Think of the grace that Jesus is going to bring on that day. It's going to be so amazing.

What are some of the things that Jesus will bring to us on that day?

We will be freed from sin. We will be freed from the consequences of sin. We will be made glorious. Think of what is going to happen on that day. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 the apostle Paul tells us what will happen to those Christians who are still alive on earth.

"In a flash,
in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet shall sound...
we shall be changed.
For the perishable must clothe itself
with the imperishable,
and the mortal with immortality."

But what if we're dead when He comes? 1 Thessalonians 4: 13f tells us that Jesus will bring their souls with Him, and their bodies will be called out of their graves—that they will be transformed just like the bodies of those who are alive. In Philippians 3: 21, Paul tells us that Jesus,

"will transform our lowly bodies
so that they will be
like His glorious body."

And Colossians 3:4 tells us that,

"When Christ,
who is your life appears,
then you also will appear
with Him in glory."

That day will be the beginning of eternity of being with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says,

"And so we will be
with the Lord forever."

Imagine it! And this will not just happen to you—but to other Christians as well. When Peter tells you to set your hope on the grace to be given to 'you' when Jesus is revealed, the pronoun that he uses is plural. He doesn't just want us to think personally about this—but he wants us to see it in all its fullness.

On that day we are going to see such grace in action.

Peter, the one who denied the Lord—he is going to be made perfect. David, the murderer, he is going to be made perfect. They are going to be made glorious. Paul, the one who persecuted the church—He is going to be made glorious.

And think of the Christians around you.

Think of them, those you know so well—with all their faults and failings. They too are going to be made glorious. They are going to be transformed and be made like Christ. Imagine it happening. How wonderful it is going to be! How glorious.

And it will all be because of grace. We will not deserve any of these things. It will all be because of Jesus, because of His love. We will be rewarded. Not because we deserve it- but because Jesus earned these things for us. He procured them for us. They will be all be because of grace.

We also see from our text that our hope is not to be half-hearted or dispirited. Peter tells us that we are to set our hope,

fully on the grace to be given to us.

Our hope is to be perfectly, completely in the grace of Christ Jesus. D. Edmond Hiebert says that our hope, (1 Peter, p. 80)

"should be characterized by a finality that leaves no room for doubt and uncertainty."

Job had this hope, and the revelation that he had was not nearly as our knowledge of Jesus and His work. Job said, (Job 19:25–27)

"I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end
he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him with my own eyes—
I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!"

Our hope should be characterized by a finality that leaves no room for doubt or uncertainty. We are to set our hope fully on the grace to be given to us on the day of Jesus Christ.

How much you should be thinking about the last day. But not only the last day, but what the last day will mean for you.

How it should affect how you live.

The point that Peter is making here is that by keeping that hope in our thoughts and minds we will be better able to live for the Lord. The context here is about Christian living, about being holy, about being like our Father in heaven.

Indeed, this passage reminds me of
1 John 3. Everyone who has this hope purifies himself. And that's what Peter is doing in this verse. He is giving us an incentive why we should be holy. The next few verses are all about being holy.

Christians, have you set your hope fully on the grace to be given you on the day of Christ Jesus?

Is that the guiding principle of your life—does your hope, by God's grace help you to be holy? Or is your hope in this world, on the empty, temporary things?

Christians, your salvation is certain. Your Savior rules. He is coming again.

But what is Peter telling us here? He is telling us that there is
light at the end of the tunnel. We Christians ought to be like trapped miners when they are trying to find their way out and they first see a glimpse of light. It fills them with joy and gladness because they know that they have found the way out. They are saved. It is just a matter of time and they will be out basking in the sunlight, having enough to eat and drink and being able to be with their loved ones.

We have that light. As Peter said in 2 Peter 1:19,

"And we have the word
of the prophets made more certain,
and you will do well to
pay attention to it,
as to a light shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star
rises in your hearts."

What a Savior we have in Jesus. What a salvation we have in Him because of His grace. Love Jesus. Adore Him. Thank Him. Praise Him. Hope in Him.